Mandatory 10-digit local dialing begins Aug. 5 in Idaho
TDS Telecom alerts customers in the 208 area code that all local calls will require 10-digit dialing — beginning Aug. 5.
Effective August 5, all residents and businesses in communities with a 208 area code will be required to 10-digit dial — area code + telephone number — all local calls. This change impacts a number of areas in Idaho that are served by TDS, including Juliaetta, Kendrick, and Troy.
It was approved by the Idaho Public Utilities Commission and ensures an ongoing supply of telephone numbers throughout Idaho.
In early September, the new area code — 986 — will start to be “overlaid” or superimposed over the same geographical region as the 208 area code. It’s known as an “Area Code Overlay” and occurs when two area codes serve the same region. In these instances, the Federal Communications Commission requires callers to change the way they dial local calls.
While customers do not have to change their existing area code or phone number, they will be required to ten-digit dial all local calls (area code and seven-digit telephone number). When providing their number locally, residents and businesses must now include their area code.
What you need to know:
- Existing phone numbers with 360, 206, 253 and 425 area codes will not change.
- The price for calls, local and long-distance calling areas, and other rates and services provided by TDS will not change due to the new Area Code Overlay. What’s a local call now remains a local call, regardless of the number of digits dialed.
- The dialing procedure for long distance or operator assisted calls will not change.
- 911 remains a three-digit dial. If 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, 711 and 811 are available currently, they will remain a three-digit dial.
Dates to keep in mind:
- Aug. 5, 2017: “Mandatory” ten-digit local dialing begins. Customers in the 208 area codes must use ten-digit dialing for all local calls, otherwise, calls will not be completed and a recording will instruct callers to hang up and dial again.
- Sept. 5, 2017: Phone numbers with the new 986 area code may begin to be assigned.
In addition to changing dialing procedures, customers should update all dialing equipment and devices pre-programmed with seven digits. This includes life-alert safety systems, PBX systems, fax machines, Internet dial-up numbers, alarm and security systems, gates, speed dialers, call forwarding settings, and voicemail services. All devices will need to be re-programmed with ten-digits (area code + telephone number) by Aug. 5, 2017.
Residents and businesses should also check with security or alarm companies to make sure their systems are programmed to handle the new dialing pattern.
For more information, visit the Idaho Public Utilities Commission or contact TDS at 888-CALL-TDS (888-225-5837).